In a recent announcement by Deputy Premier of NSW Troy Grant,
the State's Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) is
to undergo a major organisational change and implement the access
of new merit-based appeals related to licensing
The reforms are in response to the stated need to support the
tough restrictions introduced by the NSW Government on licensed
premises including 10pm bottle shop closures, liquor licence freeze
and lockout laws of the Sydney CBD Entertainment Precinct and
harsher responsible service of alcohol requirements and
Surry Partners has summarised some of the key reforms which will
come into effect as follows:
The current regulator, Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing
(OLGR) will be replaced by Liquor and Gaming NSW. Liquor and Gaming
NSW will undertake the majority of routine liquor and gaming
compliance, disciplinary and licensing functions currently handled
by the ILGA. The ILGA will remain an independent board and will
focus on perceived high-risk applications such as new bottle shops
and nightclubs. All gaming machine rights and casino licencing
decisions will remain with the ILGA.
Currently, the only avenue to appeal a decision made by the
ILGA is through the Supreme Court. Under the changes, community
members, licensees and proposed licensees will be able to appeal
Liquor and Gaming NSW decisions to the ILGA and ILGA's
decisions can be appealed to the NSW Civil Administrative
Under the reforms, there is to be a new governance structure
for the State's racing industry making it a standalone function
within the Justice Department.
The Government believes that members of the NSW liquor and
gambling industry are likely to benefit the most from the reforms.
The access to low-costs appeals is proposed to give those affected
by liquor licence decisions a greater say, presumably by
facilitating a lower cost access to the system.
The changes are also aimed at increasing compliance capacity and
clearing the 'bottleneck' of licence applications which
currently take a long time to resolve.
The reforms are expected to be implemented over the next six
1 Troy Grant, NSW Government, 'Stronger
Compliance, Better Community Access Under Liquor and Gaming
Reform' (Media Alert, 10 October 2015).
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